WA will focus on taking care of the environment and the community, through a new scheme to return used drink containers.
The McGowan Government announced the first stage of the state’s container deposit scheme network Containers for Change on Thursday, in a bid to keep WA clean.
From June 2, Western Australians returning eligible beverage containers at designated refund points across the State will be able to claim a 10 cent refund.
65 refund point operators have been appointed to deliver 145 refund point locations.
The locations will be operated by social enterprises including charities, disability sector organisations, Aboriginal corporations and community groups.
It is estimated that more than 500 jobs will be created at refund points across WA, with many jobs aimed at employing people living with a disability, long term unemployed, indigenous Australians and apprentices and trainees.
Refund points will be established in every region, with the number expected to grow to at least 172 by June and 229 by the end of the first year.
Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the scheme would give WA a helping hand.
“There are more than 1.3 billion eligible beverage containers used in Western Australia each year, and they make up 44 per cent of litter in our parks, streets and waterways,” Mr Dawson said.
“The McGowan Government has introduced Containers for Change to help reduce litter, improve recycling rates, create new businesses and employment opportunities across the State, and provide a new way for community organisations and charities to raise money.”
Premier Mark McGowan said the scheme was needed in the state.
“Western Australians have been calling for this type of recycling scheme for a long time,” Mr McGowan said.
“Today’s announcement is just the starting point for the Containers for Change network, which will grow significantly in coming months and years.”
He added job creation through the scheme would help sectors of the community get a leg up.
“It’s pleasing to see so many organisations from all sectors of the community getting on board,” he said.
“More than 500 jobs will be created through Containers for Change. Refund point operators will provide job opportunities for all Western Australians, but particularly for people living with disability and long-term unemployed.”